"We Are the World 25 for Haiti" Is a Musical Train Wreck


Holy Shit. I just listened to the song after reading your review and it's even worse than you made it out to be. Someone needs to teach the world how to use pitch correction without making everyone sound like a singing dentist drill. Why are you pitch correcting Babs? She knows how to sing goddammit.

And why aren't you inviting the living members of the original back? Surely Stevie Wonder does a better Stevie Wonder impersonation than that douche from Maroon 5. And Celine Dion singing Cyndi's part is enough to make me want to cancel my internet service forever.

I think you're spot on that this is one of the greatest musical disasters of all time. Even worse than Voices That Care.
I can only describe my rage at this remake through interpretive dance. Suffice it to say, it involves a lot of thrashing and pantomimed suicide.
this is shocking...put twenty bad pop artists in a room and sing a horrible song and it's not good?! what's next ...belated reviews of destiny's child's classic 8 days of christmas?
the video/song was horrible. and it gave me even more reason to hate justin bieber. great article, however! one question though. how was the saturday night fever soundtrack a major moneymaker for the record industry? didn't it come out in 1977? just wondering.
after reading this i watched the video. i literally vomited while viewing it. granted my tummy was upset, but i'm going to assume it was the video.
No comment on We Are The World, but thanks a lot for re-posting the mix. Totally second the recommendation on the Lomax tracks as well.
Also, David Zentz, the photographer who was kind enough to let me use his photo of Haitian emcee 2Double for the cover of Rebel Rap is selling prints of his work to raise money Habitat For Humanity. Sound advice about cutting out the middle men, but this is an easy extra way to help and get some great art as well. http://www.davidzentz.com/haiti/
But it accomplished a lot! It allowed them to feel like they make a difference, without actually making a difference at all.

Hooray for bland, commercially-approved charitable pablum; it's a real time-saver.
I'll donate to the Haiti relief effort, when the rest of the world gets together and sings a song to raise money for Hurricane Katrina...

Because when it comes to natural disasters, the global community and humanitarian efforts, I think we should seek the advice of someone with great wisdom, compassion and intellect to help us figure out how to make sense of it all...

and that man is Gary Coleman.
I'll donate to the Haiti relief effort when the rest of the world comes together to sing a song to raise money for Hurricane Katrina...

Because when it comes to natural disasters, the global community and humanitarian efforts, we should seek out the advice of a great man with wisdom, compassion and great intellect to help us all make sense of it all...

and that man is Gary Coleman... Ha!
oh wow. I thought it was bad enough and then I heard celine dion and fergie (synthetically?) harmonizing. I couldn't do anymore.
I appreciate the altruism but one) my money and my blood go to the red cross and b) why are these grand gestures only made after major disasters draw our attention to the administrative shit-show these areas are? we need to get pink involved for the rest of us to realize poor areas suffer? pathetic. still, better than nothing?
Can't you intellectually deconstruct something deserving of your insipid spite and uber-cool, hipster angst? We Are the World? Really? God, the Stranger becomes more and more of a parody of itself every day.
@12: No, because there isn't any spite or angst here--just bewilderment and an attempt to put two versions of the same song into the contexts from which they sprang.
The two versions fought it out in my brain. The original beat out the new version. Plus my earwig enjoys the classics.......we r the world....oui R da children.,.,.
I heard a snippet of it on TV and couldn't hit the mute button fast enough.

Glad it wasn't just me.
@4 The SNF s/t was the biggest-selling album in history until Thriller topped it in '83. Others moved ahead of it with time, as well, but it's still in the upper echelon.
@13: You honestly claim there is no spite or angst in your piece? Seemed very much so from my end. Your tone definitely moved well beyond bewildered. I didn't really like the new version of the song very much, either. But that doesn't mean that bashing it is really the best use of your critical thinking skills.

The song is trying to do something good, regardless of itself. Simply put, your target and approach are questionable. Yeah, the song is overdone and cringeworthy at times, but by attacking it at all you allow yourself to fall into parody. Aren't most of the complaints you lob at the song the very things that seem to be selling the most in the music industry right now? Maybe, JUST MAYBE, they were trying to tap into what the masses are buying so that they could make the most money that they could to help these people. I don't think an edgy, neo-alt-wave approach would work as well in this instance.

Attack something that deserves to be attacked. It seems like, increasingly, the only position that people have at The Stranger is a negative one: this sucks, that sucks, and here's why (sometimes...many of the writers can't even back up their whines with actual support...your article was well-supported, to be sure...bravo!). I'm just tired of it. Your article was a particularly offensive example of this ever-increasing focus at your paper, at least from my viewpoint. I mean, focus on how some of the Haiti relief charities are stealing money or something, not on a song in which really famous people try to use their media imagery to do some good. Hell, maybe USA for Haiti (or whatever this group is calling itself) might be an organization that isn't using the money it raises as well as it should. That would be a less angsty and spite-y way to approach the issue.

Am I making sense, or just replicating exactly what I'm upset about? I.E.- your article sucks and here's why. :)
This review was infinitely more interesting than the song itself. All that talent and the best they could do is come up with a remake? Why didn't somebody write a new song? Thanks for pointing out the distinction between a good cause and a bad idea, too.
Heh, I thought I was just being over judgmental when I saw this on TV and thought how utterly terrible it was.
I think everyone missed the point. But, that's the Northwest for you, where everything is subpar and everyone is too busy criticising each other to go out and create real influence. With that said, yes, it sucks. Wyclef is horrible in everyway. However, a bunch of rich people got together at their own expense to create something positive. Unheard of in America. Done.
I can gladly say that I have never heard this remake.I barely made it through the first few seconds of the introduction/ justification. And, I was exposed to that only as a result of a chance mistake of a mouse click on the 'tube'. I wonder what would you put on the 'B' side?
there will always be a mediocore middle,and worse, such is life...from each according to their abilities? why bother critiquing the obvious?
i agree with everything, except for your assessment of the original-- the sentiment is true and pure; just because you have no joy in your heart, doesn't mean you have to hate on MJ's original work of genius
This article is annoying and petty. But leave it up to Miserabelo Fatos to give us more writing that comes from both from his anger and spite at his own lot in life, and the smugness he uses to overcompensate for it.

Fatos has his head so far up his analytical ass that he's more concerned with the aesthetic element of the song than he is about why it was recorded in the first place. The fact is that whether the song is good or bad the point is to attract attention from as many people as possible to help the people of Haiti. The whole point is to use the mass-appeal nature of mainstream music to help generate money, on top of the money people have been donating individually. To attack the quality of the song and the current pop stars making it is petty and stupid and cynical, just like it is to attack the efforts of the USA for Africa musicians from 25 years ago. Leave it to a comparatively privileged white American like Fatos to criticize efforts to help poor people facing death.

I guess Fatos gave his $5 to the Red Cross so he feels entitled to condemn other people who are trying to do much more to actually help people in need. That's pathetic and shameful.

I thought we were rid of this Fatos character in this city when he got ousted from Seattle Weekly a few years back but for some reason The Stranger (which used to mock him mercilessly when he was at the Weekly) has seen fit to let this miserable hack write for their paper. What a shame.
Mmm, no, sorry, artists don't get to be praised for really terrible work just because they're not profiting from it. I'd agree that it's inappropriate to be completely negative on a charity effort, IF he hadn't urged people to donate in other ways, and highlighted good Haitian music along the way.
How the he'll is this track rating 4 stars on iTunes?
Hell. How in the hell?
I appreciated the overdone flaming. It was hilarious. Not everything in the world has to be Serious Business, folks.